Twitter has become an integral part of marketing for many companies. I noticed immediately after I set up my Twitter account that many major companies tweet frequently to promote their products and services. Twitter has become a widely used communication tool.
Since most major companies now use Twitter to connect with their customers, tweeting directly to a business can get their attention in a hurry. Plus, business owners know that your tweets are seen by all your followers, and they certainly don’t want any bad press. In the last few months, I’ve tweeted to three large corporations about issues I’ve had with their customer service or marketing. Within 24 hours, I received a direct response from two of the companies.
The first company I tweeted to is a major auto manufacturer. I contacted them about a mechanical issue with my car. My car had to have some expensive transmission repairs long before it should have. The company representative initiated a dialogue with me on Twitter. The company’s local service department had already given me a discount on the repairs, so the representative on Twitter made sure that the defect was noted in their database, in case a recall is initiated. He said I might even be reimbursed for some or all of the repairs if a recall is put in place. I felt like I had at least voiced my concerns.
My second Twitter complaint/comment was to a major home improvement chain about poor customer service at my local store. I was very diplomatic about what I said, beginning my tweet with a compliment about the store overall, then adding my concern. A corporate representative tweeted me right away, asking for details about the issue and for the location of the store where I had encountered the problem. The same representative also emailed me personally with an apology. The email stated that the behavior I mentioned in my tweet was unacceptable, and would be addressed at the local store. Again, it felt good to be heard.
My most recent tweet was to a major candy company about a television commercial that’s offensive to people who have a sound sensitivity known as Misophonia 4S. I’ve read that many viewers find it hugely irritating. There are widespread complaints about that particular commercial on YouTube and other social media. So far, I haven’t heard from the candy company, but I’m hopeful they’re doing some market research about it. At least, I’ve done my part and made my voice heard.
Tweeting is a way of nudging companies into addressing important customer concerns. Twitter can also have a definite impact for change by raising awareness of issues in real time. Even though Twitter has its share of critics, it serves a specific purpose for expressing ideas and information in short bursts of 140 characters to millions of subscribers.